DUBAI: NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are all the rage in the art world.
A NFT is essentially a unique digital unit that cannot be replicated. While the high prices that NFT art has commanded have perplexed some, others take pride in owning a unique digital asset that gives them exclusive and permanent rights.
The NFT art market has grown more than 800 percent in just the first four months of 2021, from $52 million in January to a whopping $490 million by the end of April, according to a Business Insider report.
As a result, more artists are looking to create NFT artworks with several agencies and galleries launching specialized divisions to manage digital art.
Dubai-based Behnoode Foundation is due to launch the first-ever NFT digital Islamic art agency in the Middle East, Behnoode Art.
In 2016, Behnood Javaherpour, founder and creative director at Behnoode, launched the foundation, which supports charities in Nepal and Iran. Behnoode Art will partner with the foundation to donate a portion of all auctioned digital artwork to help out-of-school children.
The new agency aims to modernize the artworks of talented Middle Eastern artists and sell its unique digital footprints through live auctions to fine art collectors around the world, Javaherpour told Arab News.
“Art is universal, and my agency allows Middle Eastern, European, and Asian artists to showcase their work all around the world and to shine a spotlight on their incredible talent,” he said.
Behnoode Art is currently working with more than 100 artists who are creating NFT artwork. Its ambition is to make NFT art easy to understand and promote for artists.
“Most of the artists under my current project are not into digital technology, but they have the best talents in the world,” Javaherpour added.
Behnoode Art will serve as a platform for artists who want to make their art available digitally and participate in the agency’s activities throughout the year such as private auctions, collaboration projects, gala events, and other gatherings to sell and promote artwork.
Javaherpour said the agency was working to set up links with Islamic banks and other financial institutions in the region to “create a community that values fine art while integrating modern technology.”
Behnoode Art was expected to officially launch in July.